Would you let a member of staff talk directly to the press about your company without media training?
Or allow them to work in your customer service department without knowing how to handle incoming calls?
Why then do so many companies allow staff to represent their business online without a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of Social Media?
The web has long suffered from underinvestment by businesses that see it as a free and easy way to promote themselves. A lack lustre approach which often leads to a lack of understanding of the the value the web can add to any business.
At first it was websites, commonly, companies would employ “a nephew” that knew about computers, a member of staff who could use Dreamweaver or just leave it for the IT department to sort out.
Hopefully, for websites, those days are largely behind us. Companies now realise that a professionally designed website, with appropriate functionality, can make all the difference when it comes to acquiring customers online. Of course budget will determine what you can afford to have built, but at least the awareness is now there.
Choosing The Right People
Social Media is going through the same growing pains, as websites did before it. Just because the “Intern” in marketing uses Facebook to chat with his mates doesn’t mean he should be the one representing your company in that space. In fact quite typically it is more experienced members of staff, that do not have any knowledge of Social Media, that would benefit both themselves and the business most from knowing how to use Social Media effectively.
Whilst a complete Social Media strategy is always the best way to proceed, at the very least you should ensure staff know how to use Social Media effectively. Understanding the strengths of Facebook versus the intricacies of Twitter, and how LinkedIn can be used for recruitment can make a major difference in the success of your use of Social Media.
Know Works And What Doesn’t
With the right knowledge and tools there’s no need to be on Twitter all day to build authority. Posting endless updates on Facebook can be far less effective than carefully thought out questions or polls.
Knowing how to use competitions to build loyalty, as opposed to growing meaningless follower numbers. And knowing when to take a discussion offline rather than debating a disagreement in the open online space.
Social Media can be used for more than just marketing your products or services. Recruitment, customer service, client collaboration, crowd sourcing and research are just some the other valid functions it serves.
Get A Return On Your Investment
This list highlights the other skills your internally appointed Social Media expert or experts may need. In fact for many companies customer services and HR are two oft he departments that can benefit most, experiencing high rates of ROI in relatively short periods of time.
And ROI is a key reason to ensure staff have the right knowledge. Letting them meander from platform to platform, finding their own way, can mean getting a return on the time invested can prove elusive. Whereas with the right support from the beginning a return on investment from Social Media isn’t so hard to obtain.
Social Media nearly always works best in-house, just ensure that the staff you employ to manage it for you are given the best chance possible to succeed with the training and tools they need.
Soak Social can provide Social Media Training tailored to your requirements, whether it be one on one coaching or training whole customer service departments.